The old adage that behind every great man there lies an even greater woman can easily be extrapolated when we look at individuals who have achieved incredible success – except instead of one great woman, these people have a well oiled, dedicated team powering the success behind the individual face. A combination of teamwork, leadership and a strong team bonding philosophy is often the key to their huge success.
The Queen of Pop
The diminutive whirlwind that is Kylie has dominated pop music for close to three decades, from her early beginnings as a Stock, Aitken & Waterman product to her complete establishment as pop royalty. Her stratospheric rise and continued success owes as much to Kylie’s undoubted talents and steely will as to the careful planning, loyalty and creativity of her 17 person strong team.
Loyalty and trust obviously run strongly through Kylie’s team, favouring consistency over a high turnover of members – the majority of team members have been with her for many years. Both creative director William Baker and musical director Steve Anderson have worked tirelessly for 20 years to propel brand Kylie to such dizzying heights.
Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff
Kylie herself has spoken about the reality of managing a team, saying that it “is a continual process of sorting the wheat from the chaff. Some people might not live up to your expectations.” While it’s obvious that Kylie has no time for sentimentality in the functioning of her team, it’s also clear that when decisions need to be made, she has no hesitance in displaying her leadership. Her leadership style may not be quite dictatorial but it’s clearly evident that everyone knows who is in charge.
House of Holland
Since it’s inception 6 years ago, House of Holland has enjoyed a meteoric rise to success that shows no sign of abating. With a core team of 10 people, the designer Henry Holland has taken a somewhat different approach to running his team. Choosing instead to work with friends to maintain the environment he needs to function creatively.
What began as a three-person team of Holland, international sales director Jessica Fletcher and international sales manager Anna Barnett has grown to a seemingly small group of only 10 when you consider the size of the brand. Holland himself has spoken of this saying that it is important for him that the team remains small for as long as possible.
The West Wing
Perhaps the best observation of this phenomenon is in Alan Sorkin’s outstanding The West Wing. Exploring the people, normally hidden from view, that powers the office of the president. It’s an interesting observation in the necessary skills of leadership to maintain a fully functioning team of high achieving individuals and how the team is greater than the sum of their parts.
Loyalty and trust
It’s unsurprising that the words most used by the members of these high achieving teams is loyalty and trust. Regardless of the ethos or environment that they work in, loyalty and trust are the key attributes they feel are necessary for success. Through a shared vision, strongly bonded teams are capable of dazzling results.